I am a 28yo woman and finally have comes to terms I may have ADHD. But I am so afraid of going to the doctor for fear I will be called an idiot like I have been called my entire life.
My husband made an appointment for me this week knowing I wanted one but was afraid to. I'm hoping if I blurt of everything here first that perhaps someone living this way can tell me if I am just crazy, or realistically may have this condition. I guess so I can calm down a bit for the appointment if that makes any sense at all? lol
For the last few months my husband and I have been writing down (well, when I see the paper and remember to) my 'quirks' so that when I see the doctor I wont get flustered and forget it all like normal!
Here we go..
- I am always off 'in space'. I cant stop myself from getting distracted and thinking a million thoughts when I am meant to be doing something. I daydream in so much detail its like I could write a book! Not good socially or at school/work...
- I lose focus and train of thought. More then feeling distracted. I will be at a funeral and cant stop looking around and feeling restless and bored. I feel so ashamed admitting this I'm so sorry!!
- I have zero friends. Literally zero. I am the kind of person who loves people, I am super chatty and I want to be everyone's friend but I cant stop spitting out sentences that make no sense or say things without thinking or drifting off 'into space' in the middle of a conversation. I mix words up constantly or get ever personal without thinking first. It makes me look rude and I swear I don't mean it!! It just happens. I hate myself for doing it. But I don't know how to stop. I was told all the way growing up I was rude, that I would make faces/too facially expressive (no idea I was going it) that I would exaggerate as a child/teen something terrible. I wouldn't mean to, it would just..happen and I would then be too afraid to correct it. Then I was called a liar. Argh.. I don't get along with women, actually its the other way around. I get along great with men, but I don't understand most women and feel entirely different from them. I have a huge inability to tolerate gossip and bull*. It drives me completely crazy and I cannot live with anyone in my life like that. I need simplicity and order from people I need to know where I stand 100% of the time. I cannot stand not knowing things. I feel almost paranoid about it.
-I cannot stand to be touched. This greatly effects my marriage. I wasn't like this in the beginning, at all. Polar opposite!
-I forget SO much. I lose my coffee 500 times a day around the house. I will have a drink in front of me and forget its there and go and make another one. I forget appointments. I'm always late. I (im so ashamed) forgot my grandmother was having a get together for my daughters birthday and didn't show up. I swear it wasn't until the next week but I was wrong apparently. She wouldn't talk to me for a month no matter how much I pleaded and apologized! I feel so stupid and hate myself over that. How could I forget THAT??
-I struggled all through school and dropped out. I am actually not unintelligent, I am advanced in some areas but because I couldn't concentrate on the reading or the teacher talking I couldn't do the work and I NEVER did the homework because I couldn't remember anything from class. I failed everything except cookery classes and literature but that was because I was an advanced student and the teacher allowed me to read more complex books and allowed me to creatively work. I AM a terrible speller though. I have to proof read even simple SMS because I tend to type so fast I misspell everything or type the word twice or I just don't make sense. I was placed in an 'alternate pathways' class because they predicted I would drop out. The class was for those with dyslexia etc.
- Time flies for me, I swear I will just look at something for 2 minutes and next thing its been an hour. Or two. My husband hates taking me shopping for this reason. I go in for one thing and im our 45 minutes later with a trolley load of things we didn't need.
-I get really easily irritated. Over anything really. I cant stand 'noises' like tapping, weird noises, house noises or crowds or the ticking of watches...I HATE analog clocks!!! I want to smash them lol I get so angry and irritated over the stupidest things looking back. I am so contradictory. I hate people not talking I hate movies because I get bored and restless and then have to talk or leave. I hate it when people talk too long or when I want to say something I hate phone calls. I feel awful again. I hate it when someone in the family calls to say hello and I have nothing to say and they have nothing to say so they start talking about 'whatever' and I want to hang up on them. I hate SMELLS. Banana is my worst enemy. I gag and have to leave or I WILL throw up. Had with banana loving kids. I leave the room so they can eat them :) I hate clutter. I hate anything disorganized. I get antsy. I am very sensitive to heat and cold!! I get extremely itchy when I'm feeling irritated or stressed out. I am very sensitive to light, it dazes me. I don't know, just SO much irritates me. Too much to list.
-I am quick to anger. I get irritated and then I start snapping. Not at strangers, at loved ones and this makes me feel ill. I snap and fight and pick. Without thinking, its instantaneous and causes so much pain in my marriage ad with my parents.
- I always have rapid thoughts ir music on repeat in my head. I don't know how to 'not' think.
- I have massive issues with insomnia. I had testing done and nothing is technically wrong other then over thinking. I was given a cd of calming music I threw out because I couldnt stand it after a minute. I sleep with the washing machine on at night so its white noise and eventually drowns out my thoughts so I can sleep.
- I'm always tired because of the above.
- I live my life always looking ahead and trying to predict things.
- I suffer from anxiety and bouts of depression. I get chronically anxious anytime I am exposed to anything stressful. An exam or work. I cannot work because of the anxiety. When it gets too much I faint from anxiety attacks.
- I have dermatillomania which makes like difficult and hard to face in public but I have improved some what with therapy. Make up is my life saver. I pick when I become overwhelmed. Disastrous.
- I suffer headaches and migraines
-I feel edgy all day long
-I fidget all day long
- I am either over active, go go go or I am a sloth and struggle to do anything at all then have to suddenly rush and then get anxiety attacks.
- I hate driving because I lose focus easily and scare myself. I can drive somewhere and no know how I got there. I have kids so I refuse to drive out of town and my husband does 90%. I get too anxious. Especially city, the thought makes me anxious. I hate crowds and I get confused with all the cars and fearful I'll make a costly mistake or will miss something.
- I get obsessive when I get excited about things. I get an idea and I get fixated and spend hours and hours a day researching it or doing it. But the second it gets hard or I get bored I give up. Its not because I don't want to, its because I just cant manage it anymore. I feel so stupid when this happens.
- I cannot complete anything. I have started many courses to better myself, my confidence and employment prospects and really give my 100% when I start. I daydream and obsess over what I can achieve but then again, I cannot focus and concentrate I don't take the information in and I leave half way because I'm failing. The same applies to business ventures I start, I have the best of intentions when I stat and all I want is to help my family but I ruin us with my bad financial commitments to start and stop these things!! I am talking $20,000+ now. Its so frustrating because I know I'm capable!!!! I KNOW I could do it if I could just 'get it'. Its hard to explain. Hopefully you know what I mean.
- I LOVE organization and dream of the perfect home but I am so messy!! I just cant keep anything in order myself no matter how many times I start.
-I am a chronic list maker. I have lists for everything and re do them constantly when they get cluttered with crosses and more items.
- I am extremely emotional. I do take things to heart. I think a lot of it is from loneliness and feeling so stupid and incapable to do anything at all.
Obviously I expanded on my list and wrote explanations to hopefully make sense of what I am feeling and experiencing but these are things I have had my entire life.
The problem is I was diagnosed at 16 with anxiety and depression after I overdosed on painkillers. I was a trauma victim so all the help I received has been targeted towards recovering from that and onwards. I am afraid the doctor will not acknowledge my past and a teen and a child because of this and also because I was adopted. When my parents did reach out for help for me as a child the doctors always said it was just effects of adoption and was seeking attention, but I have never had an issue with my adoption!!! I am afraid I will be simply called an over reactor and an idiot.
But I cant live like this any longer. I feel like I an slowly suffocating and wasting away in life. I am tired of being useless and I am tired of being lonely. Nothing I do seems to help.
I want to be a great mother and wife but I fail abysmally.
I have been diagnosed in the past as having GAD, social anxiety, depression, mood disorders, multiple personality disorders and bipolar. I do not believe I have bipolar or multiple personality disorder for one minute though and refused to see that doctor again. I don't feel like my personality changes. I don't know how to be content though, normal people mystify me. Its so frustrating to try and explain lol
I am so sorry this is no long and probably doesn't make much sense. But I just wanted to hear from those with ADHD if this sounds like you or if I will more likely be diagnosed as bipolar or something else altogether. I am so scared of what will happen but I know I need help. I'm not functioning anymore and my poor children are paying the price. I want to be the mother they deserve.
Hi wife afraid....
Submitted by c ur self on
My first wife I lost with cancer when she was 49...She had some of your symptoms....She had OCD and tric (hair pulling, mostly just around her eye's and eventually pubic area)...I think she suffered with depression also....I think much of hers was brought on by sexual molestation by a brother in law when she was 14, that she had blocked out and only recalled in her 40's....Not sure, but, it seemed like it probably had a lot to do with it....She developed migraines' in her mid twenties after our daughters were born and they were bad ones....She had lots of anxiety, which surfaced in fidgety hands etc...She was weak like, she could make about one pass in the yard with a mower, and her knees would be knocking...No stamina at all....heart would race....Some panic attacks if I wasn't close....
my wife now has severe add, and suffer's with over 50% of the things you've listed....But, some of the things you listed....Could reflect bi-polar disorder...Not sure, and don't want to scare or insult you...You are doing the right thing for yourself by going to a professional....The biggest hurdle is what you've done to night...Confront it....Bless you WA...I will pray for you....I hope it all works out....Don't be afraid to try the adderall or wellbutrin or what ever the doctor try's you own....I bet your life change so much for the better....;)
Thank you for your reply and
Submitted by wifeafraid on
Thank you for your reply and no, you have certainly not insulted me! The reason I do not believe I am bipolar is my adopted brother does have bipolar and I in no way have ups or down etc. These are just consistent struggles for me. Depression I know well, but worked through. It was trauma based, not something I deal with on a regular basis. Overwhelmed YES, not depressed as such. I never used to be anxious growing up, I had all the other issues with school etc but not anxiety. My anxiety started just before I left school. It when my first real exams were starting and my ability to remember anything really started to effect me for the worse and anxiety attacks started as well as general anxiety. Its all to do with fear of failing, fear of messing up or fear of disappointing someone AGAIN. Up until then I would hide it. Apart from my parents, nobody knew. I have hid behind a front for many years, thankful being at home with my children meant I didn't have to deal with people or things that make life difficult for me but home is just as hard. On the outside I smile and pretend everything is fine and dandy. I live in fear everyone will find out I'm a bumbling, idiotic fraud. Instead of just a 'frazzled' mum. I just cant seem to get anything done. I know I need to, I have all the best intentions to do it and have my lists etc but I just, cant. I always run out of time after getting distracted. Its at the point I refuse to have any visitors for fear they will judge my home. I try, I really do. My husband is loving and patient with me, but my marriage is strained. I don't want to be like this anymore. I just don't know how to be 'normal'. Perhaps I am bipolar, but after living with a bipolar brother (not blood related) I think not. His life IS extreme. Unfortunately he refuses to take his medication. I am frightened at the prospect of seeing the doctor again, but I need to do it. For everyones sanity.
You will be fine....
Submitted by c ur self on
I think it's just add...It sounds so much like my wife...And your husband sounds wonderful...much better than the jerk my wife has...Understanding will be big for you. My wife is just like what you described above...JUST LIKE IT....If she is off work and doesn't take her adderall in the morning she get's nothing accomplished. I may be setting here reading the paper or doing something and she will come walking by like she is semi-conscious she may not even have any panties on...Maybe just the t-shirt she sleep in and look at me with that daze and say I'm having a bad day...She may start piddling with something and she will do it for hours and it's usually in more of a mess than when she started...But, if she gets up and takes an adderall or two she can operate like a machine... She can flow smoothly along getting things done....She doesn't do well with stress. If her emotions are distraught she will shut down and flee, if she doesn't flee she can get ugly and loud very quickly.
You are not crazy, there is all levels of this kind of mind....When I was young my mother would have trouble breaking my attention away from what ever was holding it....Back then they called me a deep thinker...I'm still that away, maybe worse....I really have to focus to not have to much going on in my mind at once. It has always had me playing catch up in meetings and other area's of life where full attentiveness is required. Unless a movie is very good, I miss parts, so I can enjoy them twice...lol...My wife on the other hand is in it..Hyper focus!....I have always been a high performer when it comes to what is termed common sense or in the South we call it horse sense. My ability to excel in the class room hinged on my interest of the subject matter. If I was bored with it...Like English I didn't do well;)...If it was something like current affairs or math or things related to life I excelled...I remember a class that taught us to file income taxes in the 9th grade....I could do everyone's taxes quickly as a 14 year old...
You got me teary eyed reading this last post....I just want to warn you, do not put pressure on yourself, what you're dealing with is frustrating, but not that uncommon. Continue to be open, don't hide this, that only makes it worse, learn to laugh at yourself, but never move into denial....If you will stay open about the way you see yourself then it will be much easier to recognize the change once you start therapy or meds or both....Also, remember your husband isn't trying to show you up or compete with you but trying to love you when he calls your attention to things...It may seem like he is treating you like a child from time to time just trying to help and be there for you...Remember his mind is working differently, he maybe recognizing things you are not....So when us husbands or wives do that our minds are telling us we are helping you to realize this or that....We can't be in your heads to see how hard you are working at doing just that....So, he and you both need to be patient with one another, because the way you live life can be Greek to one another even though you are trying to get to the same places and go in the same direction...
Some times when we go to the other side of the mountain, one goes around, while the other, well they just go over the top...But, if we don't try and force our way and just learn the things we should from our own journeys we will both arrive at the same place a whole lot wiser...I don't know if you believe in Jesus, but, I can tell you. He save's me from stinking thinking everyday....He's my mirror...and he does it with love and forgiveness.....
Submitted by kellyj on
A lot of the things you mentioned do sound like they definitely could be related to ADHD. Anxiety and the feelings of being overwhelmed are definitely a part of it but I would not be afraid to go to doctor and get diagnosed. For me, getting diagnosed and getting the proper medication to start with only helped in all areas you mentioned and I think getting past that initial fear of it being worse than the things you are describing and how you feel about yourself will only get better ( some relief ) it you can do this for yourself.
I might seek the advise of a Nurse practitioner or therapist who has some experience with ADHD instead of a medical Doctor only in that Doctors sometimes are more qualified to prescribe medication for symptoms rather than being more suited to help you with your anxiety and emotional needs and to follow up after the fact.
It does sound like anxiety is really the source for most of things you are describing that are causing you so much grief right now. The other symptoms that you mentioned are tied to anxiety and will improve if you can address the stress level first. As I said, the proper medication will help in all areas but getting therapy along with that helped me tremendously and I really think you need both. You may have to seek these two separately as I did but finding a good therapist was the first step that I took in the process. They can help work through many of the issues you are dealing with and break things down for you which is part of the overwhelmed feelings you are experiencing along with the depression. Looking back to myself around your age, I do remember feeling helpless to do much about the same things but saw them all as a list of insurmountable problems instead of understanding that they are all inextricably linked together by one common source. The encouraging thing about ADHD unlike many other mental health issues is it is the one you can actually do something about and improve. It's not a life sentence with no hope for improvement.
A therapist can also help you work through your past issues as a child and target you anxiety better than a Doctor can do this for you. Stress, anxiety and the feelings of being just simply overwhelmed with life are not something that you have to live with forever. Have some hope and don't be afraid of getting diagnosed.....from the sound of it, living the way you are now can only get better the same as it did for me.
The last thing I wanted to say to you is that you are not an idiot or stupid. Comparing yourself to other people despite any comments than may have come from others at times is a real problem for your self esteem and self image and those comments and comparisons don't mean anything as far a how smart or intelligent you are. Most of your inability to function at times has nothing to do with your IQ and are more tied to your anxiety and how you feel than anything else. Once you address your anxiety and stress, the better you will be able to perform in those areas. I think you will find it much easier to perform mentally on all levels and you will find you are much smarter than you think you are at this time once you see those improvement.
This might sound like I am stating the obvious but being positive and getting yourself out of all those negative ruminating thoughts you have about yourself really is part of ADHD too so staying positive is really something you should try and work on as much as possible that will help in all ways to improve. All of this is possible but you need to get past the fear of asking for help and being judged by others. A trained therapist/medical provider will not do this and is only there to help you and will not judge you and will only get better. It definitely won't get any worse by going to see someone who has experience in helping people with ADHD/ADD.
Recap of doctors visit
Submitted by wifeafraid on
Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement. Its been so helpful!
I ended up moving my appointment forward because I couldn't wait any longer feeling like I was going to fall apart if I didn't see my doctor soon enough! My lovely husband drove me an hour and a half to I could see my doctor growing up. Hes a brilliant man who has always kept up to date on things and doesn't believe in needlessly medicating when there are other options. He has treated me since I was 2, so he knew about the majority of my issues growing up.
I am sooooo glad I went, although I completely broke down once I was in the waiting room lol my husband spoke for me initially thankfully and after digging out my dozen odd post its from my handbag (so I wouldn't get flustered and forget things) I managed to not even be able to concentrate on those and just blurted everything I had gone through, my child hood (super hyperactive!! I would climb roofs when I was 5. I couldn't sit still for more then a few minutes of church and I had a 'loud mouth'. Not bad words, just spoke without thinking of consequence and came out very rude. This was on top of the social and school issues.) My huge teenage issues, everything from being chronically bullied for being 'stupid' but I was actually fairly intelligent and excelled in some areas to an eating disorder and dermatillomania. To my accidental suicide attempt I famously landed in hospital for. I ran away and lived on the streets because it was all too much at home. But I wasn't a bad person, at all. Not intentionally. Mixed up with men. SO many things, so many heartbreaking regrets. I don't even know how to explain my past.
But my doctor pieced it all together and looked back at my files and my current struggles as an adult and has told me I very much appear to have suffered my whole life with ADHD or ADD which caused the anxiety and depression later on. He does think I was both under and over diagnosed (I do NOT have bipolar like suggested in the past, that diagnosis by another family doctor actually angered him and he called it careless and uneducated) over the years because people kept looking at the trauma I went through instead of the whole picture. I was never even questioned over my childhood except in relation to my trauma. But I wasn't actually traumatized then. I was adopted too with a severally bipolar brother who demanded all my parents and teachers time so it was declared I was just after attention instead of genuinely needing help. I was overlooked and ADHD starting controlling my entire life and as a consequence I developed the other disorders. After explaining my thoughts on my biological fathers mental health issues, what I know of his childhood and what I definitely know he is like as an adult (he has been in my life since I was 18, so I know him well) he also believes he may have the more 'typical' male ADHD as a child and typical male adult ADHD. That would explain how I have it as well as out worries for our younger daughter, whose issues (she is being assessed under school funded programs but that is a much longer process) made me discover there was even a THING called female patten ADHD. I want us both to get help. I don't want her to suffer the way I have. She is such a clever cookie but is drowning socially and in class. The same ways I was.
He very much thinks I am a combined subtype of ADHD as well as obviously still suffering anxiety and bouts of depression. I had thought I was under control because I take birth control pills that stop my depression coming on in my cycle as I was told it was just hormones playing up because its exclusive to that week. Apparently not so. Many females simple suffer worse ADHD when the hormones are out (I have always had hormone problems) and therefor more depressed during the cycle. Who knew?! But I AM showing depression signs all month, without the whole 'depressive' feeling though. That's why I didn't think I had it anymore.
He has not prescribed anything as he thinks its best I see a specialized psychiatrist and he is TRYING to have me seen as an outpatient to a highly prestigious professor who does not usually take patients. She apparently lectures and conducts actual studies and clinical science or what not in these very issues in women!! Fingers crossed he can make it happen. I will know in a few days time when he calls me. He thinks she will be the best to treat me because it is complicated with a long complicated history and after seeing 6-7 psychologists and 2 different psychiatrists over the last 13 years who never picked this up before, he wants me to be treated right this time with medication and therapy with people who actually specialize in woman's mental health disorders. He said they will most likely treat each part separately. Starting most likely with medication for anxiety and depression so they can isolate the possible ADHD and then treat that as needed instead of over prescribing ADHD medications to try and treat it all as that has more side effects and is less effective anyway then simply prescribing the other way around. Most likely my good old Effexor for the anxiety/depression. I wish I never stopped taking it but my pregnancy was more important and it was a risk to take during pregnancy. Pregnancy was hell though.
Whatever happens, whether it is or isn't ADHD I am confident I am finally being listened to this time. I finally don't feel simply 'crazy' or 'stupid' or lazy'. I am scared, but excited.
I just want to be normal!!!
I am so sorry this is long winded and probably full of unnecessary details, I thought it might help any other women looking looking here for help with similar issues to mine to be able to read what has happened with me. Before now, I had written myself off as completely stupid and useless in the world. Existing only for my husband and kids. Now I feel like I have HOPE!
So anyway, thank you again. I am finally starting to breathe again :)
It Sounds Like a Good Plan...
Submitted by kellyj on
Just from my own experience, I really like the sound of going after the anxiety first and then seeing where everything falls into place after that. Sounds like you have a good physician especially the fact that he is deferring you to someone else instead of giving you a pill and telling you to call him in a couple of days to see how it works. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors will do this which is kind of trial an error at your expense. The wrong medication can make things worse in the short term and just feeling better right now will undoubtedly make a huge difference. I'm very happy for you. It took some guts to get in and do that and your husband sounds like a prince. I can't see how things will not improve for you from here on out. Good for you for taking the initiative and keep up the positive attitude. I think you are on he right track:)
Wifeafraid I'm so glad to see
Submitted by Geese on
Submitted by Emily1997 on
I am so happy for you. Let us know how you are doing. Try not to get discouraged as it can take some time to sort things out w/ both the medicines and non medicine treatments. Nice that your husband is so supportive, your family will benefit also.